Immigration lawyers can help clients apply for green cards.
Applying to law schools and then earning a Juris Doctor degree can prepare you for a range of careers, within the legal industry and elsewhere. As the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics explained, if you are interested in practicing law after graduation you will likely have to make a choice: Whether to specialize in a certain area of law or to practice as a generalist,
If you are eager to specialize, one area of law where you can make a real positive difference to people’s lives is immigration law. Professionals in this field help clients and companies with a range of immigration-related issues, with the ultimate objective in any case being to help clients gain legal permission to live and conduct business in the U.S., the Houston Chronicle explained. This field of law is especially important today, given the fact President Trump has made immigration a defining issue for his administration.
To learn more about this exciting and rewarding career path, read on:
What do immigration lawyers do?
Immigration lawyers help clients address various immigration-related concerns. Here is a breakdown of some of the most common responsibilities associated with the role, as detailed by the Houston Chronicle:
The list of common duties above is by no means exhaustive. Immigration lawyers are qualified to deal with virtually any issue as it pertains to U.S. immigration law. Furthermore, as detailed by Stansky, lawyers working within the realm of immigration law deal with aspects of law that easily fall under other categories. Stansky interviewed lawyer Carol Wolchok who elaborated on this point, explaining that immigration lawyers need working knowledge of areas such as business law, human rights work and litigation.
How to succeed as an immigration lawyer
As detailed by Stanksy, successful immigration lawyers are able to understand and keep up with changing immigration laws and regulations, as mandated by the federal government. As stressed, these laws will likely be subject to further revision under the Trump administration. Stanksy noted that immigration lawyers should also be comfortable defending clients in court. Furthermore, strong communication skills are crucial in this role, and having a working knowledge of other languages can also be helpful, given the international client base.
Adept immigration lawyers will also have a passion for helping others and will be able to empathize readily with clients in often challenging legal situations – whether it’s a family about to be divided due to deportation or a bi-national couple looking to stay together through marriage. Indeed, as an immigration committee co-chair, Anna Williams, told Stanksy, a major reward of working as an immigration lawyer is the ability to make a tangible difference in clients’ lives.
“One of the main pluses [of immigration law] is that you’re working with individuals, so when you accomplish your goal … you immediately see some personal rewards,” she explained.
According to careers website Glassdoor, immigration lawyers in the U.S. make an average salary of just over $88,000 per year. It is not uncommon, however, for professionals in the field to earn considerably more than that, contingent on their experience and location. In the city of Boston, for example, immigration lawyers take home an average annual salary of almost $111,600.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that demand for jobs in the legal industry as a whole is high, due to the large volume of individuals who graduate from law school. With that said, the decade beginning in 2014 and ending in 2024 will likely see employment of lawyers grow by around 6 percent.
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